World leaders to make bold, groundbreaking recommendations for major reform to global drug policy

Members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy


On Tuesday, 9 September, the Global Commission on Drug Policy will release Taking Control: Pathways to Drug Policies that Work, a new, groundbreaking report, at a press conference in New York City.

The event will be live-streamed and speakers will include former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, former Colombian President César Gaviria, former Swiss President Ruth Dreifuss, Richard Branson and others.   

The Commissioners will then meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson in the afternoon following the press conference.

The report reflects a new evolution in the thinking of the Commissioners, who are set to become the most distinguished group of high-level leaders to ever call for far-reaching changes to global drug policy.

In 2011, the Commission’s initial report broke new ground in both advancing and globalizing the debate over drug prohibition and its alternatives. The Commission’s work has created conditions for not just former presidents but current presidents to speak out as well.

Recent developments in Latin America and the United States instigated the upcoming UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Drugs in 2016, and created an opportunity to lay the foundation for a new drug control regime for the 21st century.

Below is a full list of the Global Commission's members:

Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations and chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation, Ghana

Louise Arbour, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Canada

Pavel Bém, former Mayor of Prague, Czech Republic

Richard Branson, entrepreneur, advocate for social causes, founder of the Virgin Group, cofounder of The Elders, United Kingdom

Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former President of Brazil (chair)

Maria Cattaui, former Secretary-General of the International Chamber of Commerce, Switzerland

Ruth Dreifuss, former President of Switzerland and Minister of Home Affairs

César Gaviria, former President of Colombia

Asma Jahangir, human rights activist, former UN Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary, Extrajudicial and Summary Executions, Pakistan

Michel Kazatchkine, UN Secretary General Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and former executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, France

Aleksander Kwasniewski, former President of Poland

Richard Lagos, former President of Chile

George Papandreou, former Prime Minister of Greece

Jorge Sampaio, former President of Portugal

George P. Shultz, former Secretary of State, United States (honorary chair)

Javier Solana, former European Union High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy , Spain

Thorvald Stoltenberg, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Norway

Mario Vargas Llosa, writer and public intellectual, Peru

Paul Volcker, former Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve and of the Economic Recovery Board

John Whitehead, former Deputy Secretary of State, former Co-Chairman Goldman Sachs & Co. and founding Chairman, 9/11 Memorial & Museum

Ernesto Zedillo, former President of Mexico